“Regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic level or previous achievement, children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Jimmy Kim, “Summer Reading and the Ethnic Achievement Gap”, The Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (2004).

 Reading is obviously important for academic achievement, but what if kids don’t have anything to read? For some children, the only access they have to books is through their school libraries. When school is closed, so is their library. Even if they have public libraries in their community, they don’t always have a way to get there or someone to take them. That’s why it’s important to find a way to provide free books for them to keep at home. YMCA of Atlanta is collecting book donations so all children will have reading material over the summer. That is definitely a cause The Mafia can get behind! Last week, Mafia members Kim Zachman, Lisa Lewis Tyre, L.S. Bridgers and Debbie D’Aurelio donated stacks of books to an Atlanta area Y.  Do a little research and see if your community has a book donation program. Let’s keep these kids reading all summer long!